Jan 212019

I think its almost irrefutable but the first North East England VMware User Group of 2109 held on the 7th of feb has not only the best line up its had but perhaps one of the best line ups from a regional VMUG ever. My opinion obviously, but just look below.


My fellow NEVMUG leader Alan Burns has done a great job describing the agenda here so I’m not going to spell it out for you but having Duncan Epping, Frank Denneman, Rawlinson Rivera, Kev JohnsonKev Johnson, Chris Lewis, Gareth Edwards, Jorge de la CruzJorge de la Cruz and Gijsbert Janssen van Doorn is just amazing!!

I think we have a great mix of community, sponsor, and ‘celebrity’ VMware speakers that wont only give you great opportunity to learn but also give you a chance to get some books signed and some selfies.


I know us VMUG leaders always seem to be promoting and asking for you to register when the reality is you could leave registration to the last min or even just rock up on the day. We love people who just turn up, but, registration really helps us out.

It may seem simple, but all VMUG leadership teams sacrifice time and effort to make these events happen. Including everything from seating, food, drinks, sponsors, session planning etc etc etc needs doing for every event.

By registering you really help us out because it allows us to make sure all the preparations are in place for the right number of people. i.e. if the NEVMUG got more that 120 folks wanting to come we would have to switch venue. Or if we had a low turn out we could use the money we would have spent on food, seating etc on more prizes or for a future event.

So PLEASE register today if you think there is a possibility in you coming along.

I look forward to seeing you there on the 7th.

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Sep 172015

Just like Mini-Me is a small but perfectly formed clone of the original, as will the Mini North East VMUG on the 25th of September at:

Campus North
Sunco House
5 Carliol Square
Newcastle, Tyne and Wear
NE1 6UF England


Here’s the highlights:

  • What’s happening?
    We’ve been busy behind the scenes planning the next VMUG and decided to have a mini VMUG meeting in September. As this is a community group, we’d like to extend the planning to all our members so you have a part in shaping the next event.
  • When’s it happening?
    25th September 2015
    4:30PM – 5:30PM (leaders meet)
    5:30 PM – 6:30PM (All community members)
    All VMUG members welcome.
  • Why are we meeting?
    • Test out an awesome new location
    • Discuss content our community would like to see at the next meeting
    • Requests for community presentation
    • Provide forum to support for community speakers
    • Launch an exciting new channel for community collaboration
    • Requests for VMUG leader volunteers
    • Social catch up for group members
    • Make people aware of Campus North and the excellent facilities available
    • See who will be at VMworld to share contact details

Why are we doing this, well we want your participation to make the North East VMUG the best it can be.

So if you would like to me more involved or even join the leadership team then sign up today and we look forward to seeing you on the 25th. https://www.vmug.com/p/cm/ld/fid=11656&source=5

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Apr 292015

Those regular attendees to VMUGs across the world may be a little surprised to hear that its often difficult for some people to get their companies to sign off on their employees attendance to a VMUG.

Its not something I came across as a regular attendee to the London VMUG but when I moved back to the North East and started attending, and then leading, the VMUG up here in Newcastle I noticed it was difficult for people to attend due to company policy or IT manager perceptions. I know there are quite large cultural differences between regions and countries and I suspect that’s what’s happening here.

It transpires that in the eyes of some companies, especially in the the North East, that events like the VMUG are viewed as a ‘Jolly’ and they are giving their employee a paid day off to enjoy themselves and get drunk. To a lesser extreme its viewed as ‘personal development’ and not of value to the company the employee works for.

(I may come to the next VMUG dressed as Uncle Albert)

In fact I was surprised to hear that a good number of people at the last event had to take the day as annual leave from their employer. And a few couldn’t attend as they were denied permission to even take a days leave.

Ill get this out the way now, YES, we go for beers (and food) after the event. And YES this is complementary. YES, there is also a raffle where someone could win a cool price like a tablet or other cool gadgets.



Its a long old day listening to presentations and networking. As a leader I’m exhausted the next day and I know its the same for the attendees. Not every presentation is relevant to everyone. We try and make it as broad as possible to everyone benefits but there may be an hour when its a slog.

All VMUGs are packed with educational presentations on technology and disciplines that are relevant to nearly everyone that attends. Not only that but they are relevant to the companies they work for. Gaining knowledge on how others have approached similar problem and projects could prove critical to your companies IT transformation or resolving issues your currently having.

  • Product research and analysis. Sponsors bring a wealth of information and resource with them. While its no VMworld Solution exchange there are stands and plenty of opportunity to do some research on tech other than VMwares.
  • Networking with industry experts. There are ALWAYS top guys from VMware present at these events. And while that’s great the BEST thing is that top guys from the wider industry attend also. I cant stress enough how much in one day of talking to an industry expert how much someone can be inspired to go back to their place of work with a new outlook on their IT strategy and also on life.
  • New Sales Connections. As with any event, sales guys from all sorts of companies (vendors and partners) are looking to make new connections with customers. Unlike getting a cold call about your PPI these guys are industry specific and can actually offer you great information and may be able to help open you up to technologies or techniques you previously had not considered.

If your an IT manager or Team Leader and one of your guys asks if they can attend a VMUG PLEASE let them take the day to attend. The benefits to your company will far out way the time they spend out of the office.

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Nov 032014

November 18th sees this years UK VMware User Group. Last year I was so impressed at the scale that the UK VMUG has grown to compared from the very first one I attended a few years back. Hats of to the leaders (who also run the London VMUG) as they do an amazing job.

I know first hand how difficult and time consuming it is for the leadership team to organise these events, added that this is their free time and I thank them so much and they deserve a shout out.

Alaric Davies
Jane Rimmer
Stuart Thompson
Simon Gallagher

The agenda, as ever, is jammed packed with sponsor/vendor sessions and community real world experiences. Please do support the community guys who are speaking as they don’t have to share their thoughts and experiences in this forum but choose to. And more often than not the real world experiences are by far the most impactful for the audience.

Out of the sessions and people Im looking forward to seeing:

  • Duncan Epping – Duncan is going over whats coming in vSphere 6.
  • Frank Denneman – If you havnt seen PernixData yet, this is the session for you. Franks a great presenter and PernixData will be a force to be reckoned with in the not so distant future.
  • Hugo Phan – Ive crossed paths with Hugo a number of times over the years and his insights into the hyper-converged will be very interesting.
  • There are also a bunch of guys running side session or small ask the expert sessions
    • Joe Bagley – VMware CTO in the “ask the CTO anything” Joes has a amazing grasp on the industry and spends his time seeing every customer under the Sun. Hes open and honest and you will get allot out of this especially if your thinking IT Transformation.
    • Lee Dilworth – Talking Availability Updates & Tech Preview. Some cool things coming in vSphere 6 (still under NDA so cant say to much).
    • Dave Hill – vCloud Air is undergoing some changes and its evolving quickly. Take the opportunity to pick his brains.
    • Jonathan Mead – Mr Script is talking vCO.
    • Chris Wahl – It wont be to often you get to attend something by this guy. Its safe to say hes clued up and his talk on Networking will be a very insightful session.
    • Simon Seagrave – GREAT to see Simon back at the User groups (ive been out of the London VMUG scene for a while) so can wait to see him.

MANY MANY more great names and presenters that you will get a unique opportunity to no only benefit from their session but also get to interact with.

Make sure register if you plan to attend and ill see you there.

OH, I almost forgot the Solution Exchange. This is just like a mini VMworld and if you need a break from your sessions or are just looking for free stuff then defiantly hit the vendors stands.

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